Dhammayatra of Life 2014

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The Dhammayatra of Life is a non-sectarian pilgrimage bearing witness to the suffering caused by nuclear energy in Japan and creating solidarity with the communities around Japan’s nuclear power plants as well as with the wide range of people who join for various stages of the walk. See regular updates on the pilgrimmage on their Facebook site.

Ven. Nichidatsu Fujii, the founder of the Nipponzan Myohoji Peace Pagoda, once said,

“Bodhisattva practice in Buddha Dharma is to feel the anguish of the people firsthand and to reflect on a way to free them from their suffering. However, there is not much we can do standing alone in the midst of demons wielding the power of military and economic might. Yet one thing we can do is pray. No matter how rampant the forces of demons may be, we shall spread the just path of emancipation of Lord Buddha. With this single act of chanting, Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo (“I take refuge in the Dharma of the Lotus Sutra”), we can pray and continue to chant until we draw our last breath without yielding to power, economic might, or any other obstruction. This is not like chanting a simple song. The great master Nichiren once said, ‘I, Nichiren, do not cry, but my tears flow incessantly.’ These tears embodied through our voice become Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo. When realizing that our body must serve in finding the path of emancipation from suffering for the people of the world, we are then capable of sustaining our chant of this phrase of prayer wherever we are in the ocean of suffering.”

Now, those of us, who believe in the words of Ven. Fujii and dare to share both the joys and the sufferings of the people who live in anguish, shall move forward together to know the causes of suffering, to attain the cessation of suffering, to venerate each other, and to live in harmony with others.

Soto Zen priests join Nipponzan Myohoji priests in prayer on the beaches of Fukushima (March 2014)
Soto Zen priests join Nipponzan Myohoji priests in prayer on the beaches of Fukushima (March 2014)

The actions that we believe must be taken include maintaining Article 9 of the Peace Constitution of Japan, and also abolishing the nuclear power plants located throughout Japan as well as the nuclear weapons existing all over the world that threaten to annihilate all beings. These crises are the true emergency matters of our time, and we have a responsibility to remind the people of the spirituality of this country. We must pass on to the next generation the great treasure of wisdom of the ancestors, who lived in harmony with nature and regarded it with awe. This legacy will be the indispensable treasure for future generations.

We will visit all the nuclear power stations in Japan. At each nuclear power plant, we will spend one entire day in prayer and fasting for the sake of the land and spirits. This walk respects different principles, policies, and religions. The walk will be led by chanting the Daimoku (Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo) and beating the drums of the Nipponzan Myohoji. We welcome everyone who wants to walk and pray for world peace, even for a single day or an hour. When you join for more than a day, you will need to bring a sleeping bag and a mat. We have a vehicle to transport luggage, however, we ask that you to bring a minimum amount of belongings. We also welcome any kind of support, including places to rest, food, or transport. The walk will be organized by everyone who supports it. Through the strength of our prayers, Japan can change, and even the entire world can miraculously transform. This is what we strongly believe.

For more information and to join in the pilgrimage, contact:

from March to April: Rev. Sato 佐藤逹馬: 090-6450-7411
from May to August: Rev. Yako 矢向由季: 080-2895-9719
Or send an e-mail here:

General Schedule:

February 28: Beginning at Mt. Minobu (Shizuoka Pref.)
March 2nd:  Fukushima (If you plan to walk in the Fukushima area, please consider this decision carefully because many parts continue to be highly radioactive.)
March 4th: Iwaki
March 5th: Koriyama
March 11-14th: Minami Soma
March 22nd: Sendai, Miyagi
March 26th: Ishinomaki
April 5th: Rikuzentakada, Iwate
April 9th: Kamaishi
April 21st: Rokkashomura, Aomori
May 11th: Women and Life March, Tokyo
May 12-16th: Hamaoka Nuclear Complex region, Shizuoka
May 18-23rd: Tokaimura Nuclear Complex region, Ibaraki
May 25-30: Tomari Nuclear Complex region, Hokkaido
June 2-7th: Kashiwazaki Kariwa Nuclear Complex region, Niigata
June 9-13th: Shika Nuclear Complex region, Ishikawa
June 15-27th: Tsuruga, Fugen (Samantabhadra), Monju (Manjusri), Oi, and Takahama Nuclear Power Complexes region, Fukui
June 29-July 4th: Shimane Nuclear Complex region, Shimane
July 6-11th: Genkai Nuclear Power Complex region, Saga
July 13-18th: Sendai Nuclear Power Complex region, Kagoshima
July 20-25th: Ikata Nuclear Power Complex region, Ehime
July 27-August 2nd: Kaminoseki Nuclear Complex region, Yamaguchi
August 4-5th: Hiroshima City
August 6th: Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park

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